The Astoria in central London was one of my favourites venues in London and I have so many great memories of seeing different bands there, but finally, after loads of rumours and new reports, the final show was this past Wednesday night on January 14th. The Astoria will be torn down, along with the shops next to it, within the next few weeks to make way for the new Cross Rail train station that will be built on that plot of land. Oh yes, a sad week it has been for all of us who have enjoyed many live performances at The Astoria. The question is now, will they actually be building another new venue within the same area like people have been saying...? because now The Astoria is no more, the central area of London (known as "the West End") is seriously lacking in good size music venues. The nearest venues to central London that still remain are Brixton Academy (a lot bigger capacity), Islington Academy, Shepherd's Bush Empire and a few good venues around Camden Town in North London like The Roundhouse, Electric Ballroom and Koko.
Keeping live music alive in these harsh economic times is so important, especially now so many record stores are also closing down. Record stores chain Zavvi is facing administration and lots of stores have closed, or are in the process of closing down. It's rather depressing that these things are happening, but the longer we music fans buy tickets to watch our favourite bands, then the longer the venues will stay up and running and the bands will still continue touring.